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The Man Advantage: Random PP Observations

Mark McLarney

Mark McLarney

Mark McLarney writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Random PP Observations

In Ottawa, defenseman Chris Phillips, who started the season playing second-line power-play minutes, has since been bumped to the first line, as evidenced by the whopping 7:15 he saw Dec. 7 against Toronto. He now routinely plays the point opposite Erik Karlsson and has contributed seven points (1G, 6A) with the man advantage so far this season. He is still not considered an elite offensive defenseman by any stretch, but if you do own him, he's currently averaging more PP minutes than either Joe Corvo or Patrick Wiercioch, two guys who are widely considered to have more offensive ability than Phillips, but who are currently holding down second-line PP duties for the Sens.

Still with the Sens, another guy who is seeing plenty of PP action these days is 20-year-old Mika Zibanejad, who is averaging 3:54 over the past two weeks, almost 1:30 more than his season average of 2:28. He's currently spending most of these minutes playing on a line with Jason Spezza and Clarke MacArthur, and he's responded by posting a goal and three assists over his last nine games. Overall, he has 13 points in 22 games for the Sens thus far this season, making him an extremely attractive waiver-wire pickup candidate in most formats.

In Anaheim, anyone who was betting on Dustin Penner being a flash in the pan again this season has so far been sorely mistaken. After scoring eight points in his first six games (1G, 7A), many expected Penner to do what he has always done - fade into obscurity, but to date that has not happened. Overall, Penner has 23 points in 25 games playing on the Ducks' first line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, including four goals and five helpers on the power play. In fact, three of these goals were scored in consecutive games just recently, from Nov. 23-29. For several weeks now, Penner has been playing the Ducks' top PP line alongside Getzlaf, Perry, Nick Bonino and Cam Fowler, and doesn't look to be moved off that line anytime soon.

In Vancouver, it's been a bumpy ride if you've been a Jason Garrison owner this season, but he's starting to show signs of coming around. After posting three assists in his first four games (including one on the PP), Garrison went the next 14 games without recording a single point, no doubt prompting many poolies to cash in their chips and give up on him. However those who stuck it out are being rewarded now, as the blueliner has come alive recently with nine points in his last seven games, with six of those points (2G, 4A) coming on the power play. Even through his struggles, coach John Tortorella has stuck by Garrison, allowing him to continue as the team's No. 1 PP defenseman, playing ahead of guys like Alexander Edler and Kevin Bieksa. Garrison is currently manning the point on the Canucks' top PP line, along with Dan Hamhuis, Ryan Kesler and the Sedins.

In New York, one of the hottest PP performers over the past two weeks has been Mats Zuccarello with four points (1G, 3A) in six games. While he is no longer playing the Rangers' top PP line since the return of Rick Nash from a concussion in mid-November, Zuccarello still continues to produce even while playing the second line with Ryan Callahan and Derrick Brassard.

In Columbus, the lowly Blue Jackets currently sit in second-last place in the Metropolitan Division with a 12-14-3 record, but it's not due to a lack of PP production. The Jackets' power play attack is currently ranked ninth in the NHL with a 20.6% success rate - ahead of such powerhouse squads as San Jose (18.2), Anaheim (16.7) and Tampa Bay (15.8). Much of his success is due to the efforts of Ryan Johansen, who has seven PP points (3G, 7A) in his last 10 games. In just his third year in the league, Johansen is now the Jackets' top-line center - ahead of Brandon Dubinsky - and is currently fourth on the team in average PP minutes per game with 2:38.

Finally, in St. Louis, Derek Roy has turned out to be a great addition for the Blues, who currently lead the NHL in goal differential with +32, and sit third overall in power play production with a 24.3% success rate. Roy leads the team with 11 PP points, not bad for a guy who typically plays second-line minutes, however lately he's been skating on the first line alongside T.J. Oshie, David Backes, Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk. After a failed attempt to catch on with the Canucks last season (six points in 12 games), Roy has really revived his career in St. Louis, and has returned to fantasy relevance once again. With 19 points in 28 games on one of the NHL's best teams, he deserves to be on your fantasy roster in just about any format.